The Bristol Owners Club annual Concours d’Elegance took place in the historic setting of the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, London. A world heritage site, the college is a baroque masterpiece of English architecture set in landscaped grounds on the river Thames juxtaposed by magnificent views of the Canary Warf skyline.
Cars from the 1939 Frazer-Nash-BMW Type 321 to the one-off 2009 Blenheim 4 were on show to the world. The overall standard of the cars presented was so high it felt as if any of them could have entered the Concours competition.
Neil spoke to owners of other cars including 410s like me to compare this and that, and I saw one of my previous owners. He was interested to see my new electric windows and is now thinking of having them installed on another 410 he has recently acquired.
It turned out to be a very popular venue with all the amenities of the museum and Greenwich town within easy reach. It was a delight to see visitors from all over the world happening upon the cars by chance and being caught up in the enthusiasm of their owners. Many photographs were taken of people posing beside their favorite cars and even of some who were delighted to have been invited to sit behind the wheel.
Drip trays were de-rigueur in order to preserve the ancient cobbles and I’m glad to say I only soiled mine very slightly (well I am 44 years old you know).
The journey in to and out of London was just as enjoyable and Neil exchanged several friendly gestures with other motorists as we made easy progress through the Sunday traffic.
The only upset for me was first thing in the morning when Neil made a hasty diversion to a Sainsbury’s petrol station when I started to run on vapour. He knew I was already low on fuel before setting off, but after finding that his local Shell garage was still closed pressed on thinking he could make the next one. A tank full of Sainsbury’s super unleaded later and we were back on the A12 but I felt slightly queasy for the rest of the trip.
But at least we know my fuel reserve switch still works and the man at Sainsbury’s who moved the cones was delighted with his first customer of the day!